Saturday, December 1, 2012

Holiday Gift Guide - Debt Proof Your Christmas: A Book Review

About The Book:

Christmas--with no debt, less stress, and more joy!
Christmas may be the most wonderful time of the year, but it's also one of the most stressful--and most expensive. Expectations run high, and it's tempting to whip out the credit cards to create the perfect Christmas, with lavish meals, new decorations, and the latest, greatest gadgets and fashions for everyone on your gift list.
But you don't have to overspend or go into debt to have a fabulous holiday.
Financial expert Mary Hunt shows you how to assess your situation, commit to no new debt, and think creatively about gifts. With Mary's guidance, you'll discover what caused you to overspend in the past and how to approach this Christmas with a plan. It just might be the best gift you can give yourself and your family.
About The Author:
Mary Hunt is the award-winning and bestselling author of several books, including 7 Money Rules for Life, as well as a sought-after motivational speaker who helps men and women battle debt. She is founder and publisher of the interactive website Debt-Proof Living, which features financial tools, resources, and information for her online members. Her books have sold more than a million copies and her daily newspaper column is nationally syndicated through Creators Syndicate, and is enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of Everyday Cheapskatereaders. Hunt speaks widely on personal finance and has appeared on shows such as Good Morning AmericaOprahDr. Phil, and Focus on the Family. She and her husband live in California.
My Review:
According to a BMO Poll conducted last year, Canadians spent just under $1400 per person on Christmas shopping (this includes gifts and entertaining). U.S. consumers will spend $770 per person on average, according  to this article. And likely (though I don't have a specific statistic) many used credit cards to pay for these purchases. Consumer debt is at an all time high, both in Canada and the U.S. But what if you could shop and prepare for Christmas without going into debt? Well, it is possible. My husband and I have been married for 15 years and have never once used a credit card to purchase gifts, decor or do entertaining during this time of year. So, from personal experience I know it can be done. 
One resource that will help all family's experience a debt free Christmas is Debt-Proof Your Christmas by Mary Hunt.
The book is very well-written and extremely easy to read and understand. It is organized very well organized and will give you great ideas for spending less on family traditions, making gifts, setting up a spending budget specifically for Christmas, and more. The book is loaded with great gift ideas, recipes and traditions that you can do with families of all ages and sizes. 
Although I knew of many of Hunt's ideas, there were several things I did not think of including in a budget and it was also a great review as we head into preparing for gift-giving. Each chapter also included real life ideas from readers that were also inspiring. I have made a lot of notes through reading this book and over the next week as I finalize baking and gift lists, I will be reviewing them. 
This is a must read for all ages, and might I suggest especially for young adults as they begin life as post-college adults, or newlyweds, or new parents. 
I highly recommend this book and give it a huge thumbs up. 
BUY IT: You can purchase Debt-Proof Your Christmas at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group
***I received a complimentary copy of this book, courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications Inc., for the purpose of review on this blog. All opinions expressed are my own, and I have not been compensated in any other manner***

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